Afrox’s first decline in net profit since 2014, according to Bloomberg data, will not be repeated in the new financial year as the R1bn state healthcare tender and the success of the company’s cost-cutting measures are expected to pay off, says MD Schalk Venter. Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest supplier of gases, welding and safety products on Wednesday delivered what Venter said were disappointing numbers “at first glance”.

But he said the 2019 financial year would be “substantially” better than 2018. “We enter the year with reduced costs. We are also going to have the full benefit of the state healthcare tender,” he said. In April last year, Afrox announced that it had won the R1bn healthcare contract to supply gases to the country’s public hospitals for five years. In terms of the contract, Afrox will supply more than 400 hospitals and 1,600 clinics across SA. He said the company did not want to blame its  lacklustre performance on  the struggling economy alone, saying there we...

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